Women and Religion

Upon hearing the word ‘religion’, I always had the vision of religion as a way that makes people bind together with similar thought and belief in god, and fear in evil. People believe in god, believe that God is always right and God is always watching them. People will do good things in order to rest in peace in heaven. Similarly, they try to avoid the bad actions due to the fear in evil; as a result, they avoid the risk of being in the hell after death.  This was how I thought that the religion plays role in every society. Religion is similar to rules in a society, but it is enforced by the fear, belief, and trust in God, angel, and death angels. Religion differs from place to place and also differs from people to people. There are many religions around the world namely, Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, and many more.  Though these religions differ in many ways, the ultimate message that they advocate is to believe in god, be good human being, and respect others.

But the article, “Religion And Gender” by Moojan Momen, has opened doors to the other unknown roles of religion to me. After reading this article I can conclude that not all religions are perfect and good as they seem. I had never realized that religion too discriminated women; unlike the society where in everyday life see gender discrimination. As mentioned in the article from the Theravada Buddhism:

 “No man … should trust women, for they are base, fickle, ungrateful and deceitful…They do not act as they ought to; they do not care for their parents or brother. They are mean…very sharp…their nature is hard to know…Knowing this one should keep far away from them.”

Women were considered evil and inferior. Women were also considered as polluted, I believe the reason behind that is that women have menstrual cycle unlike men.  Since religion was practiced form thousands of years ago, we can infer that women were discriminated ever since. This kind of practice must have been adapted since the beginning of civilization, and so the act of discrimination against women seemed normal.  As a result, women were discriminated ever since.

At one point Momen mentions that now the time is changing. And yes, time has changed. Compared to the early days we can see women working and raising their voice for their own rights, unlike in the past where women were kept within the four walls of the house. Women too hold jobs and they are seen in occupation which only men used to hold, such as Engineer, Doctor, etc. Women are encouraged to participate in social activities. Moreover, with exposure to education, it is decreasing the gap between male and female, especially the thought of male being the superior to women.  Education is also helping the stereotypes to be recognized and analyze, so that the practice can be abolished and it can no more be imposed to females.

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One Response to Women and Religion

  1. tdenkar says:

    Hi ,
    Till now I also have had the same notion that religion is meant for maintaining peace and preventing violence. However, after reading the religion point of views on women, i felt so frustuated. I didnt know that religion was the premise contributing to the creation of gender inequality. I didnt like the part where the passage said that women are inherently evil than men (Momen 436). I think this is ironic of what we see in reality. I suppose women are more compassionate than men because women are very understanding and compatible. Moreover, we consider women as the source of love and affection and an epitome of kindness. So i think that with all these good attributes, women should not be considered evil and religion should not discriminate women.

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